KEIZER RURAL FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
661 CHEMAWA ROAD NE
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
August 16, 2011
The regular Board meeting was called to order by Board of Director’s President Joe Van Meter at 7:00pm. Board members present were Greg Ego, Mike Hart, Mike Kurtz, Joe Van Meter and Greg Frank.
Those present at the Board meeting included: Fire Chief Jeff Cowan, Deputy Chief Randy Jackson, Division Chief Hector Blanco, and Office Manager Karen Bracken. Budget Committee Member Bill Quinn, Marion County Fire District #1 Board Member Wayne Miller, Keizer Community Members Betty Hart, Dave Bauer and Mike Welter. Keizer Times Reporter Lyndon Zaitz.
Minutes–Mike Kurtz moved to approve the Board Meeting Minutes of July 19, 2011 as presented with a word change on page 3. Mike Hart seconded the motion. The motion carried with a unanimous vote.
Mike Kurtz moved to approve the Special Board Meeting Minutes of July 27, 2011 as presented with a word change to the final paragraph. Greg Ego seconded the motion. The motion carried with a unanimous vote.
Correspondences– Office Manager Bracken read correspondences from Chemeketa Community College Emergency Services, State Representative Kim Thatcher and Lue Helle.
Guest Input – Mike Welter, President of Vineyards Phase I Homeowners Association reported that he has spoken with Marion County Fire District #1, Keizer Fire District as well as the Keizer City Council regarding the withdrawal/annexation of the Clearlake area. Mike Welter inquired about concerns he has regarding the following items:
Business Plan for taking over additional fire station
Budget for litigation on Clearlake issue
Director Van Meter thanked Mike Welter for his participation and reported that he would address his questions. Director Van Meter reported that the Districts business plan for the annexation of the Clearlake area has been developed in executive session and the plan is solid, enabling the District to move forward with the hiring of 3 additional firefighter/paramedics to increase the hours of the Districts second medic unit to 24-hours and move that medic unit to the Clearlake Fire Station. It was also reported that mutual aid would continue to come from Marion County Fire District if needed. Director Van Meter reported that the current Marion County Fire District ambulance stationed at the Clearlake Fire Station is not always at that station; it floats into East Salem where it is apt to get more activity to better financially support the medic unit. Director Van Meter reported that the Keizer area gets maximum efficiency out of two ambulances by having both of them located in the Keizer area, allowing the District to serve as many patients as possible. Director Van Meter reported that two paramedics are on each Keizer ambulance that responds to each emergency, Marion County Fire District only provides one paramedic. Director Van Meter reported that the Keizer Fire District had an ambulance revenue shortfall in last year’s budget but overcame that budget shortfall by making adjustments to the budget. Director Van Meter reported that the District now has a projected budget shortfall due to the elimination of the long standing agreement between Marion County Fire District and Keizer Fire District to provide ambulance coverage to the residence of the Clearlake area. It was reported that Keizer Fire District is resilient, will rebound and make the necessary adjustments to make sure the budget remains balanced. Director Van Meter reported that the Clearlake annexation is a win win for the City of Keizer as it will provide better service, quicker service, and increased public education to the residence of the Clearlake area. Director Van Meter reported that all staff members of the Keizer Fire District opted to forego a 4% payroll increase to allow money for litigation and costs on the Clearlake annexation issue.
Mike Welter reported that testimony was given at a Keizer City Council meeting August 1stof 800 missed calls between the two agencies and reported that if Keizer was successful with the annexation of Clearlake that would take an ambulance from the Keizer area reducing the number of ambulances from 3 to 2. Director Van Meter requested clarification on what a missed call is. Mike Welter reported he is assuming it is an emergency call that neither Keizer Fire nor Marion County Fire could respond to. Director Van Meter reported that he has not heard that testimony and does not know where the information came from. Mike Welter reported that if 800 emergency calls are being missed that means other Districts are responding outside of our area and those are valuable minutes that someone needs medical attention and every minute is critical. If 800 calls are being missed that is justification for a 3rdambulance and by annexing Clearlake Keizer Fire would be eliminating that 3rdambulance. Mike Welter reported on the history of the Clearlake Fire Station and the purpose of placing it at its current location. Mike Welter reported that if the Clearlake annexation is successful then that 3rdambulance will be placed across two sets of railroad tracks and thus potentially unavailable to respond in a timely fashion to an emergency call in Keizer. Mike Welter inquired if Keizer Fire is concerned with patients needing to be attended by other agencies out of the area losing valuable minutes. Director Van Meter reported that Keizer Fire has a record enviable across the state with response times. Mike Welter inquired about the need of a medic in the Clearlake area and if it was not needed why did Marion County Fire District put an ambulance at the Clearlake Station. Director Van Meter suggested he ask Marion County Fire that question. Mike Welter reported that he did ask that question of Marion County Fire and it was reported that they saw a need for an additional medic unit in the Keizer area. Director Van Meter reported that he disagrees that Keizer Fire was not meeting the need of the residence in Keizer; the needs were being met prior to Marion County Fire eliminating the agreement of ambulance coverage in the Clearlake area and that is the reason behind the proposed withdrawal by the City of Keizer, annexation by Keizer Fire and a vote of the people. Director Van Meter thanked Mike Welter for his testimony.
IAFF-Local 3881 – There was none.
Keizer Volunteer Firefighters Association – There was none.
Clearlake Report – Chief Cowan reported on the progress with the City of Keizer on the Clearlake Withdrawal/Annexation. Director Van Meter reported that the City of Keizer City Council is to re-open the hearing on the Clearlake Withdrawal for public testimony on September 6th. Director Van Meter reported that he is hopeful that City Council will approve the withdrawal that evening after the public testimony. Director Ego reported that he understands the need for the City to re-open the hearing to take all public testimony.
Public Safety Communications Fee Survey – Chief Cowan reported on the Public Safety Communications Fee Survey that was included the board packets; it was reported that the survey shows the citizens of Keizer would not support a telecom fee but would support a monthly utility fee. Chief Cowan reported that the survey shows that 84% of those surveyed fully support Keizer Fire District and also support the utility fee if it would be used to support police and fire services.
Chief Cowan reported that Keizer City Council approved a resolution at Monday’s council meeting to move forward with a monthly utility fee by sending it to the voters for approval in the November election. Director Ego reported that previously the Board of Directors passed a resolution of support for the City to look into a telecom fee and inquired if a new resolution needed to be passed in support of a utility fee. Chief Cowan concurred. It was consensus of the Board of Directors to have staff draft a resolution of support for the City of Keizer to seek approval of a monthly utility fee. Director Van Meter inquired if the District is not successful with the annexation of Clearlake would the utility fee in the Clearlake areas go to Marion County Fire District #1. Chief Cowan concurred and reported on the formula used for distribution of those funds. Director Van Meter inquired if Mark Nelson, who completed the survey, would be involved with the campaign. Chief Cowan reported that Chuck Adams will be running the campaign, not Mark Nelson.
Financial Report– Director Frank reported that he has reviewed the financial statements and provided a favorable report. Director Frank reported that the District on sight audit is complete with the audit report scheduled to be presented at the October board meeting. With no further questions or comments,Mike Kurtz moved a motion to accept the financial report as delivered. Greg Ego seconded the motion. The motion carried with a unanimous vote. Director Frank reported that each month he reviews the check register from the bank prior to it being reconciled by the Office Manager. Director Frank further reported that during the audit his review of the bank statements were tested and reported that everything the District does is reviewed.
Board Member Reports
City of Keizer Joint Meeting– Director Van Meter reported that the joint meeting is scheduled for Wednesday August 17thand a report will be a given at the September board meeting.
Chief Cowan– Director Ego inquired when the Chief anticipates having the Financial Work Plan to the Board. Chief Cowan reported that he has received all the information from Dave Ulbricht on the bond issues and could have the report to the Board at their September meeting. It was consensus of the Board for the Chief to have the Financial Work Plan to the Board by the end of the year.
Chief Jackson– Director Frank inquired into the meeting at Emerald Pointe retirement facility. Chief Jackson reported that he and Ben McCready from the City of Salem visited the retirement facility to discuss Capital Fire Med and to clarify points on charging for public service calls after the first six calls in a calendar year. Director Kurtz inquired if the charges for public service calls to assisted living facilities were based on the address of the facility or by patient. Chief Jackson reported that the billing for assisted living facilities is by address and for independent living the billing is by patient.
Director Frank gave is appreciation to Chief Jackson for the reduction to the cost of the annual maintenance fee on the HVAC system.
Director Ego inquired into the two medical helicopter agencies in our area. Chief Jackson reported that there are two helicopters; Lifeflight which is private not for profit and Reach that is a private, for profit corporate business.
Chief Blanco– Director Ego inquired if the volunteer application process is complete. Chief Blanco reported that the application deadline is August 19thwith final interviews on August 29th. Chief Blanco reported that there will be an orientation for all new recruits and their families on September 12thand invited the Directors to attend. Director Frank reported that the volunteer recruitment billboard looks great and commended Chief Blanco on the volunteer recruitment program.
Director Kurtz inquired when Chief Blanco anticipates the NIMS Training to be complete. Chief Blanco reported that he anticipates NIMS to be complete by the end of the year. Director Kurtz gave his appreciation to Chief Blanco for his dedication to getting the training completed.
Director Ego reported that he works with a group that has adopted an apartment complex in the Clearview area for 5 weeks and has requested the Keizer Police Department and Keizer Fire District come to the apartment complex for a barbeque. Director Ego reported the reason for inviting the two agencies is to show the residences of the apartment complex not to fear police and fire and to help them better communicate when help is needed.
Deputy Fire Marshal Conway– Chief Cowan reported on fires the District has recently responded: Shoreline Drive house fire, Clearview apartment fire & West Salem apartment fire. Director Ego inquired if the towing of the rehab trailer arrangement is working. Chief Cowan reported that the tow vehicle is working good and the process is currently being reviewed.
Director Frank reported that he appreciates DFM Conway working with the vendors at the Good Vibrations event but is bothered that the District goes out of their way to work with them and the check that is written the District to cover the Special Event Permit bounces.
Director Van Meter reported that the number of fires is up this year from last year and inquired if that increase is due to the vacant Fire Marshal position. Chief Cowan reported that he does not believe the increase in fires is due to the vacant position.
Public Education Specialist Storms– Chief Cowan reported on the following activities Public Education is currently involved in: National Night Out, Volcanoes Home Town Hero’s, Riverfair Cruise-In and Riverfair Junior Firefighter Challenge.
Board Policy Section A “Organization Policy”– Director Van Meter reported that this is the first reading of two for Board Policy Section A and requested questions or comments. Director Frank reported on the following:
Section 2.6 needs to include language for volunteers and volunteers’ organization.
Section 6.1 should be eliminated since the directors are no longer receiving reimbursement. Director Kurtz reported that Section 6.1 should remain; it is too difficult to add language back into a policy once it is removed. Director Ego reported that the language “sitting board may elect not to receive reimbursement” could be added to Section 6.1 instead of removing it.
Section 10.2 should eliminate Board President and add Fire Chief.
Section 11.14 states that the current issue of Roberts Rules of Order is the official guideline procedure…. Director Frank inquired if the District has a current copy of Roberts Rules of Order. Director Van Meter, Chief Cowan and Office Manager Bracken all reported that they have the most current copy of Roberts Rules of Order.
Section 11.15 needs to include regularly scheduled board meeting and replace 24 hours with 72 hours.
Section 13.3 staff needs to review policy pertaining to public records and include reference to the Public Records Policy and the policy number.
Board Policy Section B “Budget/Fiscal” – Director Van Meter reported that this is the first reading of two for Board Policy Section B and requested questions or comments.Director Frank reported on the following:
Section 1.6 needs to include language for direct deposit of payroll as well as checks.
Section 3.0 remove “(Revision Adopted 11/19/91)”
Section 3.5c specifically list credit card payments or keeps as “other EFT’s”. Consensus to keep as is.
Director Frank inquired if the District could require direct deposit payroll for all employees. Office Manger Bracken reported that employers cannot require direct deposit per employment law.
Operational Policy 16.01 “Safety Committee” – Director Van Meter reported that this is the first reading of two for Operational Policy 16.01 and requested questions or comments. Director Ego requested clarification with the wording in Chief Blanco’s memo and how it fits with policy 16.01. Chief Blanco reported that OSHA has recommended that an annual safety survey be added to our policy manual; Chief Blanco reported that the wording for an annual safety survey has been included in Policy 16.01 or if the board chooses, a new policy can be written. Chief Blanco then reviewed the attachment “Annual Safety Survey Checklist” that came from the Districts insurance provider SDAO. Director Kurtz inquired if the District can accomplish all the items on the checklist. Chief Blanco reported that the District does accomplish all items on the checklist. Director Frank inquired into who the Safety Officer is for the District. Chief Blanco reported that he is the Safety Officer. Director Frank then inquired who the Safety Committee Manager is listed in Item D. Chief Blanco reported that the Safety Committee Manager and Safety Officer are the same and staff will change the policy to reflect Safety Officer. Director Frank then requested that Attachment A be included on the top of the Annual Safety Survey Checklist. Director Frank requested clarification on two items on the checklist. Chief Blanco answered his questions to the satisfaction of the board.
Other Business – There was none.
Good of the Order – Director Van Meter reported that for ethical reasons the Fire District is not going into the Clearlake area to lobby for support of annexation; it was reported that the Fire District has good representation in the Clearlake area. Director Van Meter then gave his appreciation to Wayne Miller and Mike Welter for attending the board meeting.
Pay Bills– Greg Ego moved a motion to pay the bills. Mike Hart seconded the motion. The motion carried with a unanimous vote. Greg Frank declared an actual conflict of interest and abstained.
Adjourn - President Joe Van Meter declared the meeting adjourned at 8:11 p.m. The next regular scheduled Board meeting is Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.